Inna Faliks and Borislav Strulev | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Inna Faliks and Borislav Strulev 

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Musical prodigies are endlessly fascinating for their ability to master difficult techniques and compositions--things that other musicians sweat over for years and are sometimes never wholly comfortable with--at ages when their contemporaries are still perfecting tying their shoelaces. It's even more astounding when they manage to call up emotional depths that they'd seem--by virtue of their minimal experience with life--to be years from achieving. But even prodigies need encouragement and performance opportunities, and the Young Artists in Concert series at K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation, sponsored by the Gretel and Max Janowski Fund, is designed to provide these things. The first concert in the series will present a pair of teenage instrumentalists from the former Soviet Union with some impressive credentials. Sixteen-year-old pianist Inna Faliks, a native of Ukraine who now lives in Skokie and attends Niles North High School, gave her first solo recital in Rome at the age of ten and is also a prizewinning composer in her homeland. Last year she was one of the winners of the Illinois Young Performers' Competition, and took part in a concert with the Chicago Symphony; her half of the program will offer works by Chopin and Tchaikovsky, along with Liszt's "Mephisto Waltz." Cellist Borislav Strulev is only 19, but he's already toured Europe and the United States (he made his debut in this country at the Kennedy Center in 1993) and won assorted prestigious competitions. He's now preparing for his New York City debut at Avery Fisher Hall with the Orpheus Chamber Music Orchestra next spring. Accompanied by his mother, pianist Marina Struleva, he is scheduled to perform highly diverse works: Bach's Organ Toccata in C Major, transcribed for cello, along with pieces by Manuel de Falla, Isaac Albeniz, George Gershwin, and Ernest Bloch. Fittingly enough, he will end with the "Sim Shalom" by Max Janowski, cantor, composer, and music director at K.A.M. Isaiah Israel for half a century. Sunday, 4 PM, K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation, 1100 E. Hyde Park; 924-1234 or 337-2400.

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